The oil spill that occurred on Sunday at the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGC) Mumbai – Uran trunk pipeline due to a rupture in their main pipeline was low on scale compared to the massive oil spill caused by collision of MSC Chitra and MV Khalijia in August 2010, drastically reducing the environmental impact of the spill on marine flora and fauna.
According to officials of Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) out of the 5,000 liters of oil that had leaked from the pipeline, around 1,500 liters spilled into the sea and was also visible near the Mora and Karanja coast. The ship collision in August 2010 had spilled 800 tons of crude oil making it one of the biggest oil spill disasters in India.
“Our immediate concern was to mitigate the damage of the spill on marine flora and fauna and by Tuesday evening, the oil traces seen on the Uran coast were significantly wiped out. But, this is definitely a violation of pollution norms and even the central government will investigate the matter,” said YB Sontakke, regional officer, Navi Mumbai.
A scientist from National Institute of Oceanography who visited the site, said, “Marine creatures such as prawns, crabs and fishes were found dead near the Uran coast though the oil spill was not widespread on Tuesday afternoon during our visit. We have collected water samples to determine the level of pollutants in them.”
Experts also added that since monsoon conditions still prevail, the insoluble oil slick might float to other parts of the coast affecting fauna and coastal vegetation such as mangroves making the job containing the slicks imperative.